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Dell prepping for February smartphone launch?

post #1 of 48
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The Wall Street Journal is weighing in on Dell's rumored smartphone offering, adding further weight to rumors predicting the PC maker will enter the arena to take on Apple's iPhone.

Citing sources familiar with Dell's plans, the financial paper reported the Round Rock, Texas-based company has an office in the Chicago area where a group of engineers have been working on the phone "for more than a year."

"They produced prototypes built on Google Inc.'s Android operating system and Microsoft's Windows Mobile software," said the report.

One model has a touchscreen with no physical keyboard, like the iPhone. Â*Another is a slider-style phone with a keypad that slides out from beneath the screen, like the Pre. Â*The report also notes Dell's recent hiring of two former Motorola employees.

"We haven't committed to anything," a Dell spokesman told the Journal, which concluded Dell hasn't finalized its plans and could still give up the effort without releasing a device.

Meanwhile, Kaufman Brothers' analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a research note released to clients today that the news is consistent with his supply chain checks and his own comments from earlier this month, predicting an entrance into the cell phone market for Dell as soon as mid-February.

Dell might make its announcement at the GSMA Mobile World Congress event (formerly 3GSM) in Barcelona, Wu said.

"We believe it makes sense for Dell and other PC makers to pursue more aggressive strategies in the smart phone space," Wu wrote. Â*"We believe smart phones are moving upstream into the notebook space. Â*Dell is the latest PC vendor to enter the market...So far, only Apple has made material inroads."

The analyst reiterated his warning that Dell will need to stand out from the crowded market in order to succeed, recommending the company use its own operating system because "most of the other players use the same software, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, and/or Google Android, leaving little room for innovation."

Dell, like Research In Motion's BlackBerry Storm and the anticipated yet unreleased Palm Pre, faces a formidable opponent in the iPhone 3G. Â*Last quarter saw the Apple device outsell the Storm four-to-one.

Since going on sale last summer, the iPhone 3G has sold more than 4.3 million units in the United States. Â*Recent signs also point to a major update to the iPhone in June, possibly making it that much more difficult for any competitor to gain headway in the sector.

The Wall Street Journal also reported Hewlett-Packard is selling phones in Europe with an automatic backup feature, while Acer is planning to join Lenovo in the smartphone marketplace as well. Â*Together, the iPhone and BlackBerry control 70% of the U.S. market.

This is a critical time for Dell to find a "hit", as the company is losing PC market share, including a 0.9 percent year-over-year decline last quarter. Â*Shares of the company's stock have fallen 60 percent since August.

For more information on Dell's rumored smartphone and how the company is evolving, please refer to AppleInsider's previous report.
post #2 of 48
They should abandon this and continue doing what they're average at;

Assembling dirt cheap PC parts (intellectually created by other people) and designing nasty plastic cases (aesthetically mimicking the designs of others) to put them in.

Dell is a decade to late to start playing 'boutique electronics manufacturer'
post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The analyst reiterated his warning that Dell will need to stand out from the crowded market in order to succeed, recommending the company use its own operating system because "most of the other players use the same software, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, and/or Google Android, leaving little room for innovation."


What's funnier, the idea of Dell making hardware that can compete with the iPhone, or the idea of them building a competitive OS from scratch?
post #4 of 48
It is a waste of time for Dell to enter the market. They don't have much going for them beyond desktops, laptops, and servers. If they really want in on the market they should merge with Motorola for instant marketshare and credibility.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by surferfromuk View Post

They should abandon this and continue doing what they're average at;

Assembling dirt cheap PC parts (intellectually created by other people) and designing nasty plastic cases (aesthetically mimicking the designs of others) to put them in.

Dell is a decade to late to start playing 'boutique electronics manufacturer'

Maybe their strategy is to assemble dirt-cheap phones using "dirt-free" android. In the new economy, this might work fairly well, though it would occupy a mostly different market space from the iPhone.

I do agree that an attempt to go head to head with Apple is a fool's errand just about anybody, but for Dell especially so.
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

It is a waste of time for Dell to enter the market. They don't have much going for them beyond desktops, laptops, and servers. If they really want in on the market they should merge with Motorola for instant marketshare and credibility.

I disagree. As much as I think most Dell products are crap, they sell quite well overall so I guess people either like crap or disagree with the idea that Dell only makes crap.

If the computer market is moving to a new, smaller, mobile form factor, possibly even a new platform as many are supposing lately, then Dell needs to be in that market to survive. To stay in position as the maker of what are possibly soon to be "old fashioned" desktops means gradual obsolescence.

One could argue that because they are a crap company they will ultimately fail at this new segment and for that reason shouldn't even try, but from their point of view it makes sense. They don't themselves believe that they are crap computer makers and probably think their chances are good.
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post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post

What's funnier, the idea of Dell making hardware that can compete with the iPhone, or the idea of them building a competitive OS from scratch?

Funniest is the idea that Shaw Wu believes they could just whip out a competitive OS and
that people still consider him knowledgeable enough to invest based upon his advice.
post #8 of 48
Call it the iTooPhone. Or, before the whole company joins the parade of layoffs and bankruptcies, take the snarky advice you once so famously gave to Apple: "Liquidate the company's assets and return them to investors." Payback's a bitch, Michael.
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post #9 of 48
Dell may have many dogs out there, but they do occasionally make a decent machine. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they were working on a netbook with 3G connectivity. Dell does portables already, and people are pushing for smaller, more portable machines to connect to the web. A wirelessly connected laptop with full computing capabilities could be very appealing to the consumer market. Dell would not still be around if they never understood the needs of the consumer.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I disagree. As much as I think most Dell products are crap, they sell quite well overall so I guess people either like crap or disagree with the idea that Dell only makes crap.

If the computer market is moving to a new, smaller, mobile form factor, possibly even a new platform as many are supposing lately, then Dell needs to be in that market to survive. To stay in position as the maker of what are possibly soon to be "old fashioned" desktops means gradual obsolescence.

One could argue that because they are a crap company they will ultimately fail at this new segment and for that reason shouldn't even try, but from their point of view it makes sense. They don't themselves believe that they are crap computer makers and probably think their chances are good.

I agree. They have certainly decided to allocate more resources to the look of their products (as shown with the Dell lightweight laptop Adamo). More and more companies are only beginning now to see the power of design has on business.

Whether or not this becomes part of Dell's corporate culture remains to be seen. They are by and large still a volume vendor and probably has an offshoot 'premium design' division.

Apple has long invested design and it's ingrained into their DNA. Apple is the moving target but competitor are using them as their benchmark. It's no longer only Redmond but it's 'everyone, start your photocopiers'
post #11 of 48
Use their own operating system???!! Exactly what operating system would that be then?

Wu is complete and utter fuck-wit.
post #12 of 48
The iPhone was the logical outgrowth of the iPod.

Thus, the Dell Phone should be called the "Dell DJ Phone." It will build on the success of the Dell DJ.

By the way, Mike, how's that Dell DJ working out for ya?
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

I do agree that an attempt to go head to head with Apple is a fool's errand just about anybody, but for Dell especially so.

They really only need to be better than the smartphones being offered by ATT's competitors (in the US). Verizon now has a greater marketshare than ATT. A certain percentage of those people, myself included, would never switch to ATT. So until Apple offers an iPhone for Verizon (or other non-ATT carrier), for a lot of people Dell really only needs to compete with non-Apple phones.

That said, I don't think Dell could compete effectively against those other manufacturers, either. Not unless they are willing to invest a lot of money and be willing to take a loss on the first couple of Dell phones they create as they figure out how to do it right.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

The iPhone was the logical outgrowth of the iPod.

Thus, the Dell Phone should be called the "Dell DJ Phone." It will build on the success of the Dell DJ.

By the way, Mike, how's that Dell DJ working out for ya?

That's exactly what I was thinking. Haven't they been down this road before and ended up with some less than amazing (to put it mildly) results?
post #15 of 48
So is this finally going to be the iPhone killer that all the trolls on Mac forums have been waiting for?
post #16 of 48
"Shares of the company's stock have fallen 60 percent since August."

Everyone's stocks have fallen 60% since August, including Apple's. The slide in the stock market has affected everyone. This remark is used carelessly. (Not that I don't think of Dell as intrinsically overpriced, since they have no product to justify any stock value higher than it is at currently.)

I am regretfully typing this post on a Dell computer at work. Pray for me.
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Use their own operating system???!! Exactly what operating system would that be then?

Mobile OS/2: It runs WinMo better than WinMo!

Quote:
Wu is complete and utter fuck-wit.

True, but he gets paid for saying shit like that. You don't.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by surferfromuk View Post

They should abandon this and continue doing what they're average at;

Assembling dirt cheap PC parts (intellectually created by other people) and designing nasty plastic cases (aesthetically mimicking the designs of others) to put them in.

Dell is a decade to late to start playing 'boutique electronics manufacturer'


Exactly! Hit the nail on the head! Thank goodness for Apple!

Dell wants to be part of this list.....

Largest Software Company: MS & what do they make? Crap!

Largest Restaurant Chain: MacDonald's & what do they make? Crap!

Largest Beverage Company: Coke & what do they make? Crap!

Largest Auto Company: GM & what do they make? Crap!

Largest Beverage Company: Coke & what do they make? Crap!



Don't get me wrong. The US is the best country in the world! After Thailand!

Have a great weekend Kasper and thanks for you hard work!
post #19 of 48
They did it before with groundbreaking features.

Lets see what they come up with in 2009

Don't bash unless you know!


Everyone bashed Apple before they came out.
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post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Wu is complete and utter fuck-wit.

Don't you just love the English language?
post #21 of 48
In my view, given Dell's market position and technology resources, their smartphone needs to AT WORST be better than the original iPhone to not be a joke. Remember, it has now been two years since the iPhone was announced. It should not take two years to copy something in a mediocre way.

Instead of being an also-ran or following someone else's lead, what if one of these massive generic manufacturing companies sacrificed a good chunk of their profit in the attempt to develop something truly remarkable for their consumers that helps the market to evolve rather than just fatten. Or maybe they already do, and they just keep failing at it?
It's a little depressing to see these companies, one-by-one reveal their denial about their lack of relevance, innovation and talent.
post #22 of 48
Microsoft best friend, Dell, they create good cheap products and they create crappy products also. I remember how hyped was Vista and how crappy it end up to be, I remember Dell Adamo (did i get the name correct?) touted as world's thinnest notebook (meaning it will beat MBA!!! Woot! Woot!) and it seems Dell has problem understanding the basic meaning of english words, tish tish, cause Adamo was certainly not thinner then the MBA. Now smartphones? Geez what are they up to, Michael Dell is taking his personal vendetta against Apple too seriously, it might end up ruining whats left at Dell.

Oh yea and not to forget Dell ambitious project to create a MP3 player and an open MP3 ecosystem to destroy Apple iPod dominance and iTunes Music Store. We know how that turn out to be =)

Oh yeah, and I remember that someone from Dell mention that its important to have a mix of cheap and expensive lineup in their product line, hear my words Dell, IT WILL NEVER WORK OUT!!!, why? Its pretty common sense actually, who wants to own a exclusive product from a company who makes cheap low quality products? Why do Toyota have Lexus? Cause Lexus is Toyota brand for luxury cars while Toyota is for mass production and for commoners (no offence people). Heck, if Dell release a notebook as expensive as MBA or Apple notebooks, I would rather buy an Apple which Im sure there is quality or get Sony which is known as Apple of PC World cause of their design and quality.
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post #23 of 48
Dell doesn't even have customer support, how is this going to work?
post #24 of 48
Jeez people...what OS? Android.

If it wanted to start over: Linux. What UI? Webkit..

It shouldn't take a competent team more than a year to come up with something like the Pre and there are several competent teams in Taiwan, China, Korea that can do the job for Dell. They can go to HTC and get a phone to brand.

Heck, as messed up as dell is, I believe they have 8.5B in case and 2.12B in debt. Palm's market cap is 820M with debt. They could get it for not THAT much. Or just buy Motorolla's handset division for $500M.

Can they do a smartphone? Yes.

Should they? Who knows. They sure aren't beating HP these days so they better do SOMETHING.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I disagree. As much as I think most Dell products are crap, they sell quite well overall so I guess people either like crap or disagree with the idea that Dell only makes crap.

If the computer market is moving to a new, smaller, mobile form factor, possibly even a new platform as many are supposing lately, then Dell needs to be in that market to survive. To stay in position as the maker of what are possibly soon to be "old fashioned" desktops means gradual obsolescence.

One could argue that because they are a crap company they will ultimately fail at this new segment and for that reason shouldn't even try, but from their point of view it makes sense. They don't themselves believe that they are crap computer makers and probably think their chances are good.

One... I think the obsolescence you speak of is already upon them - and their core principal of up-selling cheap suppliers is even more obsolete. So now the pace of quality and innovation that Apple has inflicted on the market has left them chained to a lead ball.

Two, on a more philosophical vibe... I'm not so sure that deep down they don't accept that they really are crap computer makers. And ones who are fine with making money by barely staying ahead of the lowest common denominator of mediocrity that the industry and consumers tolerate. So many companies in so many industries make their living that way knowing deep down that it's a crap, but don't care as long as people keep paying for it.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasein View Post

Don't you just love the English language?

I do. I also speak it with the correct accent. <duck>
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Funniest is the idea that Shaw Wu believes they could just whip out a competitive OS and
that people still consider him knowledgeable enough to invest based upon his advice.

Exactly, I have said the same about Wu for years. he is one of the last people I would take as being credible or informed. His main job has been to fluff apples share price.

That Dell could be competitive in OS development is absurd beyond belief.
post #28 of 48
The train already left and Dell cannot catch it or stop it.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloblackmore View Post

... on a more philosophical vibe... I'm not so sure that deep down they don't accept that they really are crap computer makers. And ones who are fine with making money by barely staying ahead of the lowest common denominator of mediocrity that the industry and consumers tolerate. ...

Not sure I really disagree with you.

I was giving them the benefit of the doubt as they seem to be really *trying* to make "luxury" computers nowadays. Whether they succeed, or whether any of these new products they are making actually sell, I don't know. If they survive the depression they might have a chance.

It also occurs to me that if Apple's vertical model is actually the best way to go, then there have to be *some* other companies that imitate it or the whole upper end of the consumer market will be owned by Apple. I think Michael Dell is smart enough to realise that if they don't at least try this stuff, they will forever be the "budget" (crap) computer company and gradually obsolesce.

My prediction is that after a year or so of trying, if nothing works Michael Dell will be forced out and Dell will sink back into what it was, or be cut up into pieces and sold.
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post #30 of 48
Remember the Alamo!... Adamo,,, Atamo?
I don't know if naming a supposed luxury brand a nonsense word that no one seems to remember is such a good idea.
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Call it the iTooPhone. Or, before the whole company joins the parade of layoffs and bankruptcies, take the snarky advice you once so famously gave to Apple: "Liquidate the company's assets and return them to investors." Payback's a bitch, Michael.

It may be a tired old quote, but by Jingos it needs to said often and loud!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Use their own operating system???!! Exactly what operating system would that be then?

Wu is complete and utter fuck-wit.

can I nominate this as post of the month? and a good early runner for post of the year.
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post #32 of 48
It is possible that Dell could enter the smartphone market, but Shaw Wu's points are, as usual, gibberish. Dell won't make their own o.s. because they would not be trying to out-innovate Apple, RIM and Palm. They would make a 'smartphone for the rest of them' - value for money, not innovation.

And in the current news environment, Dell can get front page news with cut&paste.

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post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by fractured View Post

Dell may have many dogs out there, but they do occasionally make a decent machine. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they were working on a netbook with 3G connectivity. Dell does portables already, and people are pushing for smaller, more portable machines to connect to the web. A wirelessly connected laptop with full computing capabilities could be very appealing to the consumer market. Dell would not still be around if they never understood the needs of the consumer.

Dell is already selling a Netbook with included 3G data bundle in Partnership with Vodafone, for example in Australia you pay zero up front and $A60 a month for 24 months, that gets you a netbook and 5GB a month (Don't laugh this is very competitive, data is expensive here).

Prices and plans would vary from country to country.
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post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

It is possible that Dell could enter the smartphone market, but Shaw Wu's points are, as usual, gibberish.

Rob Endearle's past advice to Dell, on the other hand...
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Jeez people...what OS? Android.

If it wanted to start over: Linux. What UI? Webkit..

It shouldn't take a competent team more than a year to come up with something like the Pre and there are several competent teams in Taiwan, China, Korea that can do the job for Dell. They can go to HTC and get a phone to brand.

Heck, as messed up as dell is, I believe they have 8.5B in case and 2.12B in debt. Palm's market cap is 820M with debt. They could get it for not THAT much. Or just buy Motorolla's handset division for $500M.

Can they do a smartphone? Yes.

Should they? Who knows. They sure aren't beating HP these days so they better do SOMETHING.

Android is Linux.

Starting over would be writing your own Monolithic Kernel/Micro Kernel.

Forking is what they would do.
post #36 of 48
HTC hardware + Android software + Dell logo = Dell innovation.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Heck, as messed up as dell is, I believe they have 8.5B in case and 2.12B in debt. Palm's market cap is 820M with debt. They could get it for not THAT much. Or just buy Motorolla's handset division for $500M.
.

Dell buying Palm is actually an interesting thought. Palm have interesting technology right now and Dell has decent financial strength and manufacturing expertise.

For companies with strong balance sheets, this is a good time for take overs.
post #38 of 48
Maybe Mr. Dell plans to get out of the computer business like Ty Warner got out of the Beanie Babies business. I hear that Mr. Dell purchased the Miramar (Fairchild) Hotel in Santa Monica, California. It's a large property at Wilshire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, just a couple of blocks from one of the early Apple Store. He can't easily make any changes to it because of the Costal Commission and local restrictions. (Ty purchase the Biltmore Santa Barbara among others.)
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post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Use their own operating system???!! Exactly what operating system would that be then?

Wu is complete and utter fuck-wit.

It comforts me to believe that Wu reads these message boards
post #40 of 48
I hope and pray for Apple's sake that whatever POS Dull comes up with was based upon the "consulting" advice of Rob Enderle.
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